Meet Premilla, the Life Dancer. 

premilla2Premilla first saw me perform my poems at a talk I gave in January 2012.

During the talk, I offered the audience a writing prompts based on the gates of Loving Inquiry: “What permission do you need to let yourself play and create?” Inspired by the prompt Premilla contacted me for my to awaken her “lost artist”.

Premilla and I started to work together through a one-to-one mentorship. 

Of Indian ancestry, Premilla grew up in Durban, South Africa. As an adolescent she studied Bharatha Natyam ( Classical Indian Dance) and performed on many stages, including events supporting political freedom in Apartheid South Africa.

Premilla’s dance career was a brief one. In her early twenties, her life moved on to the serious business of becoming a wife, a mother and a teacher.

In 2012, at the age of 69, Premilla yearned to dance again, as well as to write and perform her poems. However, she wasn’t sure it was possible at this stage of life.

I believed that with loving encouragement and skillful guidance, Premilla would be able to channel her enthusiasm and passion into new creative work.

We began by listening to the metaphors that inspired her, opening to the obstacles in her way that needed honouring, valuing the beauty of her creative output and embracing her story, one memory at a time.

Premilla gathered her volumes of poems and journals. Together we set to organize, reread and edit her work. As her creative mentor, it was my job to keep her focused on the themes and threads that were emerging and to encourage her sustained commitment to the ongoing exploration and expression.

Toward the end of the process, we set a date for Premilla’s performance.

“Invitation to Dance,” was a 45- minute work of dance and poetry shared with an intimate audience of family and dear friends in the studio at Butterstone Farm. Premilla danced and spoke her poems, accompanied by background music and narration.

Her performance was astonishing. Premilla was applauded for her courage, grace and the beauty of her creative expression.

After our successful one-to-one mentorship experience, Premilla chose to continue her creative journey by enrolling in A Year to Love, my 12-month group mentorship program, allowing her to deepen and expand her artistic expression.

As part of the second annual Pieces of her Story Festival 2014, Premilla performed her dance on the Artspring stage before a rapt audience.

As a part of the third annual Pieces of Her Story art show, Premilla exhibited paintings. Learn more…

 And Premilla’s journey as a creative mentorship continues…

Ahava, You are a gifted writer, performer, and mentor. Your power to inspire and empower your students is outstanding! I say this not only as one of your older students but as a fellow educator. Thank you for taking me to the edge, encouraging me to dig deep and letting my spirit soar.       Premilla Pillay

 

To read more testimonials from my students, click here.

 

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